by VERONICA GORDON
The City of Buda held its annual Home Owners Association (HOA) Forum at City Hall last week.
Residents brought up concerns about roads, safety and code enforcement in their neighborhoods.
Rachel Hampton of Creekside Park asked about who is responsible for the overgrown grass and weeds along FM 967.
“Right now the Homeowners Association has been taking of it,” Hampton said.
City Manager Kenneth Williams said the state is responsible for the maintenance on that section of right-of-way, but that the city has been pitching in to keep up with it.
Jose Montoya said on-street parking is one of the major issues in Whispering Hollow.
“There seems to be an ongoing issue with that,” he said. “Residents are not choosing to park in their driveways and it impedes the emergency vehicles in some of those streets. Is there anything being done in future developments?”
Chance Sparks, Buda director of planning said the city is evaluating that topic within the city’s transportation master plan.
“We’re looking at how to address the local streets to strike a balance between accessibility for vehicles, but also not creating a road that end up so wide that you end up with a speeding problem,” Sparks said.
Carolyn Fees took the opportunity to ask city leaders what can be done about someone living in a trailer on the street in her neighborhood.
“The HOA has sent letters, but it’s a big concern because people are avoiding walking down the sidewalk,” Fees said. “Can the city, in the future, start looking at an ordinance with teeth in it to prevent this?”
Sparks said there are restrictions in place that address how long a trailer can be parked in a driveway.
City Council Member Todd Ruge said if a citizen sees something like that, “don’t hesitate to call city hall.”
The forum also allowed the city’s community representatives to present brief overviews of ongoing city projects and services.
City staff made short presentations on what is available to residents and what they can expect to see in the near future. Residents heard from city staffers about projects that the HOA leaders could tell their neighbors about.
Buda Police Chief Bo Kidd spoke about the new officers his department is in the process of hiring.
“It’s going to be an exciting year ahead for us,” Kidd said. “We greatly appreciate the support of the city manager and the city council in raising our staff this year. We’re getting four new officers and they start on Oct. 29. What that means for us is that we’re always going to have two officers on the street. Oftentimes, now, we may only have one officer available or on duty. We’re a 24-hour service, so this will be our new minimum standard. It’s really doubling our patrol strength, is what it’s doing.”
Kidd also told the HOA representatives that one officer will be assigned exclusively to nightly neighborhood patrol, adding that a Neighborhood Watch program is going to be added in the coming months.
“Seems like (in) every subdivision, we’ll find one or two people who are actually interested in participating in that,” he said.
Kidd said his department will work together with neighborhoods to exchange ideas, train volunteers and create a schedule for patrols.
Kidd said the Lower Colorado River Authority has donated a radio to the police department for use by neighborhood patrols.
“If we have someone on patrol in the Bradfield Village neighborhood, it gives them instant communication and contact with officers,” Kidd said. “They won’t have to dial 9-1-1 and go through dispatch. It’s a direct link to us.”
Kidd said the department will also share information through regular emails and activity alerts.
“That helps keep interest and helps keep motivation among HOA groups,” he said.
Tourism Director Alisha Workman encouraged HOA leaders to share the city’s Facebook page information with their neighbors.
“We focus on promoting the community’s assets,” Workman said. “We try our hardest to promote the parks and activities we have.”